It’s Your Copyright. Don’t Apologize for Defending It.

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The following guest post comes from Peter Csathy, a venture capitalist, media/tech executive, journalist, and CEO at Manatt Digital Media.

We live in a world where many share the belief that content is ‘free,’ while rampant piracy has been significantly curtailed by new legitimate services and business models (like subscription streaming).  But, it just ain’t so.

One of the biggest and pervasive myths is that piracy is actually decreasing.  That couldn’t be further to the truth: Cisco forecasts that file-sharing in North America will grow a massive 51% from 2014-2019.  Analyst firm NetNames, in a study commissioned by NBCUniversal, concluded that virtually all P2P file-sharing violates copyright.  And, leading consulting firm Bain & Company reportedly concluded that recorded music sales would be 17 times higher in a piracy-free world.


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And someone is paying for all this, because piracy robs creators, plain and simple.  In the words of Alex Ebert, lead singer of indie band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (and a tech innovator himself), “it degrades the craft.”  The act of creation is their work—it is their livelihood, and it’s not free.

Circumventing payment for the results of that work (music, movies, television) is like asking someone to build you a house (or even a dollhouse) and then refusing to pay for it.  No one can defend that.

Most creators in all forms of creativity media agree with this, at least privately.  So, why is it so hard for artists and other content owners to come out and say that publicly?  And, even more, to take the action necessary to proclaim “enough is enough!” and stop the madness (which has, for some, somehow become “right” in some strange twist of fate)?

The answer, my friends, is that artists and content owners today are saddled with the history of the past — a history that has led us to today’s parallel universe where, for some, the act of stealing from creators has become accepted (and frequently encouraged) behavior.  And, one in which the “good guys” are the ones frequently depicted with black hats.


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(Lars Ulrich of Metallica, 2000, defending his actions against Napster in a segment of Charlie Rose)


Let’s go back in time to see how this all happened first in the music business — and to discuss what the creative community can do about it for all forms of media — unapologetically.

The digital age dawned on a mass scale just prior to 2000, and mass piracy of music soon followed suit.  Two early-movers in this completely unregulated and frequently abused world included the original Napster and Swedish-born KaZaA (which, in an ironic twist, was born by founders who later started Skype and music streaming service Rdio — both of whom expect customers and advertisers to pay).

Yes, artists and their representatives felt that something wasn’t quite right — that their products were disappearing from the shelves in a form of mass looting.  But things got out of control so fast — and no real tools existed to do anything about it — that little was done to stop illegal downloading of content.

Little could be done.  The Internet itself — and the technology enabling that piracy — were still new to everyone.  There was no mass education by artists connecting piracy to their livelihoods.  Few in the creative community really understood it.  And many artists didn’t particularly care as a result of a “system” they felt failed to treat them and pay them fairly.  So, no one (even the creators themselves) really talked about it.

P2P piracy was anonymous.  There was no visible victim.  And seemingly everyone did it.  After all, it kind of felt good getting great stuff… all for free!

Except it wasn’t.  Not free for the artists and creative community who, like all of us, need to make a living and whose “paychecks” were soon slashed to a fraction.  Yes, this happened to major artists who got the most visibility (and the most blowback under the guise of greed when they tried to begin the conversation—perhaps most notoriously, Metallica).  But, it happened equally to smaller indie artists and creators—musician “mom & pops” — hitting them right where they live.


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As an example, since 2000, the number of full-time songwriters in Nashville plummeted 80%.  Once artists and the creative community fully grasped the severity of the situation — and the mass global devaluation of their “product” virtually overnight —the music industry struck back with the only tool it knew in those early, frenzied, frightening P2P days.  That tool was the good old American lawsuit — a tool that was both horribly imprecise and wielded with an equally horribly imprecise strategic hand.

As a result, that so-called “strategy,” which seemed to initially focus most on the least egregious cases of piracy rather than on major pirates, failed.  Most importantly, it failed miserably in the court of public opinion, with serious repercussions to artists’ and industry brands and images.  In a dark form of alchemy, the most egregious wrongdoers proclaimed themselves to be most in the “right” and reveled in stories of 12-year-olds and grandmothers being sued (which purportedly demonstrated pervasive greed across all elements of the music industry).

The result was that mass infringers somehow successfully defined a narrative that deflected the real issue and defended the mass looting of hundreds of millions of creator dollars.  Yet virtually no one in their right mind could defend that same mass theft in the physical world.  Imagine a warehouse filled with stolen CDs from your favorite indie artists and then multiply that exponentially (because that was — and remains—the reality in the virtual P2P world).

Right?  Wrong?  You be the judge.

The result?  Artists and the creative community were hit where it hurt most — their livelihoods, threatening many from the very act of creation that the most egregious pirates proclaimed they purportedly fostered through their illegal actions.  Alex Ebert passionately punctuates this point, underscoring piracy’s potential to create a generation of “hobbyist musicians” unable to focus their lives on the arts (and our enjoyment of it).  “To master anything, you must be able to devote your whole life to it,” he explains, something that is increasingly difficult for creators.  That means a generation of lost art—songs, shows, movies that we will never hear or see.

Yet, many of those same creators shied away from protecting their own work, their own intellectual property — fearing the loss of their fans’ support (ultimately their most valuable resource) and frequently lacking motivation in an aging system not equipped for the brave new Internet world.  And, in the process, artists and the creative community essentially capitulated to a not-very-brave new world of “well, that’s just the way it is.”

So, here we are today. What is different today than before?  What can (and should) be done now that wasn’t done then?

The answer is a three-pronged strategy that is properly defined, clearly articulated, and fairly carried out:

  1. Economics.

The new monetization realities and consumer Zeitgeist of our digital-first world demand reevaluated artist/label and distributor royalty structures, especially since — as Ebert points out — many consumers are willing to pay only if they believe their money is going directly to the artist.

  1. Education.

We all know (at least intellectually) that P2P piracy is wrong; artists need to be motivated to openly support one another and be in a position to actively articulate piracy’s impact on their lives… on their art.

  1. Technology.

We now, for the first time, have the right set of tools to protect artists, target the most egregious pirates with precision, and seek reasonable restitution efficiently and privately.  Forget the 12-year-olds and grandmas — focus on the real bad guys — those with the virtual warehouses of stolen CDs in the sky.

One leader on the technology front is Rightscorp (note: Rightscorp is a client), a company supported by some of the music industry’s foremost players (including Peter Paterno, Joel Katz, and David Lowery).  Rightscorp identifies content from leading artists like Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars, and counts major industry players like BMG and Warner Bros. as clients.  They offer artists and content owners a powerful toolkit that helps them solve the dilemma of monetizing their work (and creative livelihood), while also protecting their relationships with their fans.

Rightscorp’s technology identifies precisely where music, movies, games and any other form of digital content is illegally uploaded or downloaded.  They are then able to send a series of low-cost offers to resolve the violations that, if continued, ultimately may result in suspension of the abuser’s Internet service or in a lawsuit from the copyright owner (but not until many warnings are sent and an ample opportunity is given to stop).

In its intent, Rightscorp’s technology is not unlike Google’s IP protection system called ‘Content ID’ (and others like it).  The company’s core service follows protocols established by the creative community itself to send — on behalf of artists and other clients — a series of notifications and immediate, discreet settlement options (i.e., no names are made public).  There are no surprises to recipients and the creative community can take back what’s rightfully theirs…  their livelihoods.

While Rightscorp’s technology is capable of identifying all infringers, its clients focus on the most egregious pirates; for example, repeat infringers who rob artists and the creative community at scale (and, therefore, should be considered ‘fans’ only in the parallel universe discussed above).  And, this kind of refined technology enables artists and content owners to protect their work/IP, restore massive lost revenue, and protect their names and brands from being tainted for doing what we all know is both understandable and right.

Rightscorp — and other tools—put the power back in the hands of creators. In fact, to date, Rightscorp (which represents more than 1.5 million copyrights) has returned more than $1 million of stolen creativity back to its partners.

With a significant percentage of all current Internet traffic used to illegally distribute copyrighted content without compensation, artists and content owners are victims still of mass theft valued at multiple billions of dollars just for music.  Isn’t it time for the creative community to take that back —unapologetically —and help point the way to restoring what Ebert calls “the sanctity of the arts” in the eyes of all of us whose lives profit so much from the creative work of others?

48 Responses

  1. EagleEye

    Diplo: — for us, the one thing that helped lead us to be more successful this year, is a lot of the guys that are older that battle streaming services, that battle distribution systems, we instead embrace it, 100%. We’d rather people listen to our music than try to make every cent we can make off of it.

    • Anonymous

      Very easy to say when you’re earning as much as Diplo does Djing. His career bears no similarity to 99% of musicians in the world and he didn’t get there by giving all his music away for free.

      I’m not making a case for or against embracing technology here, I’m just pointing out that his comments and ethos only work for a few people.

      • EagleEye

        Copyright protection is useless for 99.9% of all artists! But it DOES matter for Diplo because they want his music, but if you’re starting out don’t protect anything you need people to listen!

        • Anonymous

          But isn’t he saying the opposite of that with regards to himself?

          What you quoted, was from the Charlie Rose interview right? It hardly makes him sound like someone who finds copyright important. Especially when you hear the full part of that interview.
          My point is that he can disregard copyright and how it affects him because he has a huge income stream from elsewhere so he doesn’t need to worry about people uploading his stuff to soundcloud or other sites that don’t pay.

          It depends whether you see copyright as something that stops people from accessing your music or as something that helps you make money from it. I personally see it as the latter. The former is the rhetoric of google, pandora et al.
          Copyrighting does not stop people from listening to your music and the sooner people stop believing the people who say it does the sooner we can move on. The reality is, it just needs reforming for the digital age along with the DMCA.

          For most musicians, yes you need people to listen to your music but if you don’t find a way to monetize it then your career isn’t going to last very long. I’d say copyright is equally, if not more important to these people as it is to huge stars.

          • EagleEye

            Who cares about the recording? Its the wrong part of the food chain to charge now! Get them to shows, sell them experiences, but stop trying to control your silly recordings. That’s 1995 thinking. Diplo lives in 2015.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry you’ve completely lost me now.

            In your last post you said copyright matters to Diplo, you’re now saying he’s only about the shows. How does copyright matter to him then? You’re contradicting yourself.

            But if we are to go off your last post where you said he’s just about getting people to the shows then yes I agree and you have proved my original point which was that Diplo can say he doesn’t care about copyright and protecting his music online because he earns bucketloads from DJing.

            Most people however, don’t.

            Anyway, going back through this thread, your answers seem to suggest that you’re not reading most of what I’m saying so this is kind of a pointless conversation.

          • EagleEye

            My point is this: the vast majority of all artists should not care at all about recording copyright! You will be sitting in mom’s basement worrying about the $0 you’re making, from 17 fans, it’s silly!

            YES, Diplo makes money off of recordings and could take steps to protect it. But why? It would be a useless waste of time, he should be working on developing other revenue generators. He is pursuing a much different model.

          • Anonymous

            Read the comment a few posts down where I replied to ‘tek knowledge’ because he said basically the same that you did. For your information I own my own house with it’s own purpose built studio all paid for by music. Something tells me you don’t, but I suppose that’s just being as presumptuous as you and ‘tek knowledge’ are.

            What’s ‘silly’ is to completely disregard a decent working way of making money from music because you don’t think it’s progressive. In fact your comments are almost ironic.

            Who says you can only work with 1 model? Use them all.

            The fact is, you obviously don’t really understand copyright or how to make it work for you or you wouldn’t be making stupid comments about $0 and 17 fans.

            Copyright is still a thing and it’s going nowhere. It might, should and probably will be changed but that’s for the future.
            You can disregard it if you want and miss out on a decent revenue stream. I, and everyone else who gets it however will do everything you do and still make extra money in our sleep from copyright with 0% effort.
            All you need is a decent digital distributor and you’re making money from the second you click upload.

            You should probably look into how that works instead of blindly quoting Diplo and thinking his career and application directly applies to you and everyone else in the music industry as some kind of blanket policy.

          • Tek Knwoeldge

            The fact that people think the only way to monetize your music is copyrights is a huge part of the problem. There are so many ways you can monetize your music online its scary, and fucking hilarious sometimes. People are just being lazy, don’t wanna change or are down right afraid of change. But the truth is musicians don’t have anything to worry about, just stop fighting it and think outside the box. fighting it and not changing the way you do business is only gonna make you broker, sadder, pathetic, and angry. While musicians like me laugh on our way to the bank wondering why the other musicians insist on working for someone else making a fraction of the money while doing much more work.

          • Anonymous

            I’m very happy for you being so successful, well done but that’s a very presumptuous post. Do you think because I still believe copyright has a place in the current landscape that I also believe it’s the only way to monetize music? I don’t. I’m well aware that there’s multiple ways to monetize music, because, like you, I’m lucky enough to make very good money as a working musician. it’s my full time job and I’m not fighting anything.
            But just because there’s more than one way to make money doesn’t mean copyright is obsolete. It just happens to be one of the ways and it works for me. However as I said before it needs bringing up to date as it could work better. Until then though I’m neither broke, sad, pathetic or angry but thanks for your ‘advice’ and concern.

    • yep but

      Notice he says ‘this year.’ A few years ago he was about to close his record co. because it was losing so much money — then harlem shake (fluke) happened, and they shifted to throwing dj concerts… which did benefit from ticket buyers who saw the viral youtube of HS. also he was also blowing up as a producer, and able to do ads for big budget phone co.’s etc due to the fame. also: he came from being on a regular record label, and benefitted from that enormously.

    • Grammarly

      It is hard to justify paying ANYONE who is incapable of using the english language properly, EagleEye.

  2. Vail, CO

    The 17X thing is probably true if not greater, but that is IF you can shut down the internet. Seems like a fantasy scenario.

  3. Joe Copyright

    First: copyright infringement !=stealing. The two are entirely discrete offenses providing completely different penalties.

    Second: the concept of copyright was (is?) intended to benefit creators *and* the public. While no one should defend copyright infringement per se, you’ll find plenty who object to copyright benefits increasingly favoring the former at the expense of the latter. And they’re not wrong.

    • DavidB

      “you’ll find plenty who object to copyright benefits increasingly favoring the former at the expense of the latter. And they’re not wrong”

      As you are evidently an expert on this, give us some examples, other than dreary fictions dreamed up by the EFF and TorrentFreak. You must be able to do better than that.

        • DavidB

          Ho, ho, ho. Like most people, I find the claim to copyright over ‘Happy Birthday To You’ outrageous, but not because I object to copyright law. (I do object to various aspects of copyright law, such as the increasingly wide scope of ‘fair use’ in US law, but that is another matter.) The claim is outrageous because there seems to be no valid evidence for it, and plenty of evidence that the essentials of the song were ‘published’ long before the Summy Company registered it for copyright, with an apparently false claim to authorship. But I rely for the ‘facts’ on possibly inaccurate sources (such as Wikipedia), so I am open to correction.

    • Pirates

      Rightscorp can bite my VPN and TOR exit.

      Anyway, pretty much no one is pirating music these days. As always there is zero music torrents in the top 100 at the PiratesBay etc. Legal streaming has simply offered the consumers a better alternative and consequently saved the music industry. If you are not making much money, it certainly isnt because of piracy. A better explanation is that you are not very popular, because you are a looser and suck.

      • Anonymous

        Torrenting has gone up, if anything, because of shows like the walking dead on premium television networks and not being able to stream them on until the next day. Not relevant to this topic but I find it ironic that NBC is on the forefront with adaptation… like streaming sunday night football on their website LIVE.

    • Tek Knowledge

      Yep, just one of the many creative ways we can monetize our music now.

  4. Curtis Jenkins

    I definitely appreciate this article but also see the horse being out of the stable on this one. If you crack down on piracy you lose fans, that’s just the matter of fact. NO artists wants to be playing that to their fans. Just don’t forget the whole blow up after Tidal, people basically think artists have the money they deserve and are milking them more.

    • Curtis Jenkins

      But unless you are really a huge player in this industry and I mean really HUGE, you don’t have the ability to move that needle. If Lucian Grainge can’t fix it, I KNOW that I can’t. I need to figure out a way to make this music thing work while I have the moment in my life, because I’ll die waiting for the copyright weather winds to blow in the other direction.

    • Versus

      Pirates are not your “fans”. Real fans would pay for your work.

  5. theoneswhosnotdumb

    Can anyone point out one example of an artist who cracked down on piracy and lost fans? The only possible examples I can even think of are metallica or prince and while they (especially metallica) have become more lame in the public perception, they’re still making a shit ton of money

    • Me2

      Metallica is as big as ever. And like him or not, Lars had the guts and position to take a huge stand before anyone else. It didn’t lose them fans at all in the long run. It may have even gained them some.

      It’s the Diplo’s who are in the position to do something meaningful, but they do not. They may be do better numbers by placing access above all, including fairness. That’s their right as far as their own business is concerned. But they’ve handed over any credibility they had with regards to improving things for other artists.

      Way to un-stick it to the man!

  6. ShellGame

    Who knows for sure? We may indeed be seeing radical shifts to the way business is done in the future.

    Imagine a scenario where the largest internet companies hold their own content and thus have a vested interest in keeping copyright laws strong. It would be a complete 180 to the current perogative, which of course is to strip creators of any rights or remuneration… in Washington, in schools, in the comments section, “for the good of the public”, of course.

    I’m not holding my breath, but if it did ever happen in this lifetime it will sure be fun to watch valley lobby groups do an about face. A whole new information program for young minds… and as always “for the good of the public”.

    I don’t know how long it would take, but it would have to be at least one generation into the future.
    The current one is lost.

  7. Jose Fritz

    This is more junk science. They conflate file-sharing with piracy… embedding the assumption that all file-sharing is piracy.. which is obviously false. This does not pass the sniff test.

    • DavidB

      “They conflate file-sharing with piracy… embedding the assumption that all file-sharing is piracy.. which is obviously false”

      It isn’t an assumption, it is a statement based on cited evidence: “Analyst firm NetNames, in a study commissioned by NBCUniversal, concluded that virtually all P2P file-sharing violates copyright.” You may disagree with this, and of course ‘virtually all’ is not the same as ‘absolutely all’, but I don’t know of anyone who disputes that a large majority of file sharing is copyright-infringing.

      I do have doubts about the claim that piracy is massively increasing. Simply measuring the number of Petabytes shared would probably be misleading, as it is affected by the type of files shared. An increase in the proportion of media like films, or in the use of HD or lossless formats, could inflate the volume of data without any increase in the number of actual files shared.

    • Name2

      This is more junk science.

      You flatter it. It’s just junk.

  8. PJ Wassermann

    Is Google still showing pirate links to everybody who looks for it?

    If yes then Google should be targeted above all.

  9. Adam

    This is a well written and thought out article, but unfortunately is only about 10-15 years late. It’s an outdated point of view.

    More importantly though, it fails to recognize the actual purpose of copyright, and how the relevance of copyright is actually linked to the technology available in any given field.

    Copyright is designed to protect the INVESTEMENT of creation, not guarantee endless income. The laws were penned in a time
    when creating a work had seriously high investment costs. Think of what it used to cost to buy the machines that could record an album? To own a studio? To pay the engineers? To have a record pressed or a tape made? It took huge investment, many companies, and therefore the music cost what it did. At that time there were less people buying less music, yet more money changed hands. It was a “golden age” where the owners of the equipment and rights (labels and publishers) were essentially like today’s landlords – they had what you needed and they let you pay them. They made the most money.

    Now, things are quite different. The cost of producing art is extremely decreased. Albums can be created in-home and sent out for mastering at a cost of a few thousand dollars.

    No longer do we need the expensive machinery and the big companies with their big dollars. And if it weren’t for terrestrial radio and the pay to play phenomenon, we wouldn’t need anybody but the fans.

    In closing, my argument is a means to understand that the value and necessity of copyright has changed entirely (for music) since the laws were penned. I do agree with the conclusion of this article and the need to restructure how the payments work and how the entire music industry works. But we knew that before Napster in 2001 anyway. People like the author may have preferred that things never changed, but they have. Let’s not get angry and bitter AGAIN about this. Let’s finally just move forward to restructure and shift the balance of power to the musicians without worrying about corporate profit interests for once. THAT’S how you solve the problem, NOT by being demanding of or complaining to the fans. Got it?


    • Agraham

      You cite costs like studios and whatnot, but what hasn’t gone down is the costs for rent, food, travel, medical, etc. The major cost for an author is the time it takes to research and write a book and that could be a year or more. My last book took a year to put together and without the advance of a publisher, it couldn’t have been done. All my costs were labor based, not mechanical or really even the cost of the book itself which is one of the lowest costs of all. Time is the number one factor and those costs are still going up.

  10. King shlomo

    Prevent ISP’s from allowing file share sites like they do porn sites in Abu Dhabi. Than revenues will increase. Labels are afraid to go after dsp’s and than google.

  11. Seth Keller

    I’ll second the comments above about this being a nice advertorial for Rightscorp, but I think there are some salient points worth exploring in a more in depth way.

    As a manager of artists–both signed to majors and independent–and a former manager of a couple of songwriters who had hits back when people bought music, I am in favor of copyright and I am anti-piracy.

    That being the case, I do think some of the issues Peter brings up, while not necessarily “junk science” as one commenter wrote above, are skewed in a way that doesn’t tell the whole picture when it comes to artists’ and songwriters’ income drops from recorded music.

    1. The Piracy Scare – I don’t deny that people pirate music. But the vast majority of songs being pirated are from Top 40 major label artists who are making most of their money elsewhere. These types of articles are directed to and read by middle class artists and songwriters and up-and-comers to get them fired up and angry. The reality is, while there’s no doubt artists/writers below the major label top tier are earning less from recorded music sales, most people are not pirating their music. Since Rightscorp has the data, I’d like to see how many Edward Sharpe songs and albums are pirated on a yearly basis. While the amount no doubt affects Alex Ebert’s recorded music income, I’m guessing the overall number of pirated songs from his band is relatively small.

    The bigger issue for middle class and up-and-comers when it comes to recorded music is…

    2. The Album – Most people don’t buy them anymore. I’m not talking about musicians and big time music fans who read sites like this. I’m talking about general humans. It’s a singles world. If you’re a middle class artist or a niche artist in genres like jazz, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, etc., the lack of album sales is a big blow to your recorded music income because you don’t have a radio hit (or maybe viral hit) to sell and promote yourself.

    On the flip side, most people aren’t pirating albums, they’re pirating singles. If you don’t have a hit single, chances are not a lot of people are pirating your music.

    More than piracy, I think the lack of album sales is what’s really hurting the pure songwriter like those in Nashville. Back in the 80s and 90s most full-time songwriters made good livings by having songs on gold and platinum selling albums. Typically, there was only one–maybe two–hits on album but there were up to 15 songs total that sold as many copies as the hits because people had to buy the album to get the hit. If you were a writer who had cut 10 on and album that sold 5 million copies, you did all right even if most people who bought the album didn’t listen to the song or maybe even like it.

    I’ve worked with and know many songwriters who made a lot of money or very solid livings in the 80s and 90s because of album sales. The ones who wrote the big hits continue to get earnings off those songs today, but the ones who wrote the “album cuts” aren’t getting royalty checks anymore and most of them are no longer professional songwriters.

    3. Songwriting and Publishing Streaming Royalties – Streaming is in the present and will be the future. One issue Peter nailed was the economics of streaming. Because of major label contracts and the opaque way streaming royalties are tabulated, there’s no doubt artists are being shafted when it comes to streaming income. But publishers and songwriters have it worse due to that opacity and because of the much smaller portion of streaming revenue that is allocated to songwriting royalties. Both laws and contracts between streaming services and publishers need to change in order for songwriters to be fairly compensated.

    I think if we focus more on making the future of royalty agreements fairer and more transparent and focus on driving pirates and general consumers to streaming services, recorded music income will increase for everyone.

    We can argue all day about piracy, but in another generation it may be wiped out entirely by the convenience of streaming. It’s a pain in the ass to find torrents, download files and store and transport those files. Anecdotally, in talking with the teenagers of today, they don’t care to do it. It’s true most aren’t paying for the recorded music they listen to because they’re using YouTube, Soundcloud, 8Tracks or other free streaming platforms. But most aren’t bothering with pirating files either.

    • Tek Knowledge

      Will you be my manager? If not will you marry me?

  12. Tek Knowledge

    This article is so incredibly misguided. I’m actually writing a paper detailing the reasons why people that think like this are wrong and I will be posting it on my blog very soon. Just google TeknowMusic in the near future if you want to find out more. I’ll make some small points here as examples. I think Mr. Keller made some fine points on what can be done and why. Rights-corp is failing miserably, not making it’s bottom line at all because they are trying to stop people that want to stop conglomerates from stealing their money. When I put it like that Rightscorp doesn’t sound so great. Now but what on earth am I talking about? How are would be pirates trying to protect themselves? A simple question is actually your answer. Why for the love of god are we still charging the same price for a product that suddenly costs almost nothing to make?
    I interned for a big time producer out here in Jersey for some time, and guess what? His multi million dollar studio is now worth bupkiss because he uses the same interface I use along with the same version of protools, and therefore the same effects. He has nothing I don’t have except for treated rooms and you can make pretty good rooms for not a lot of money, yeah and I somehow get a better sound than him because knowledge is worth way more than your shitty money my friend. You don’t need distribution cause who the fuck wants to buy cd’s, and you don’t need a label either, you barely need a manager. I’ll take Mr. Keller though cause that guy knows what’s up.
    So there you go, all the money that’s missing there it is. Get rid of all that shit and you have all your money and more. The reality of it is people don’t want to deal with artists and their labels, they want to deal with artists. The numbers are there for all of you to see, and donations work just as well as cd’s btw, people donate a lot when they like you. If they see that they’re paying for your label then they don’t want to pay. I know I don’t want to put money in some fat assholes pocket that has nothing to do with the music.

  13. Batteur

    Rather than going after individual infringers, I’d like to see people like Rightscorp going after the real money– YouTube, Google, the ISPs. They should be paying royalties just like regular radio. At least they should be made to not allow, and not profit from, the trafficking of stolen works.

  14. a writer

    I find the argument to make money other ways really simplistic. What about people who aren’t making music, but writing books or making films? You don’t make money from writing books except for selling the books. If and when people pirate the book, you get squat. Where is the argument for pirating those?

    Asking people to find alternative ways to make money from their craft is a stupid argument you make to try to make yourself feel better for stealing other people’s damn hard work.

  15. Name2

    Oh, for God’s sake. They all want “Game of Thrones”. They don’t even know who Metallica is.